maintain knockout roses

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by pdenney11, Oct 21, 2010.

  1. pdenney11

    pdenney11 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 380

    I have been taking care of a new account this year that has 15 knockout rose bushes. No one has ever pruned or trimmed these things back and they are out of control. They are blocking windows and just look like a huge mess. I have never pruned or taken care of any roses because I personally do not like them and would never grow them in my own yard. I would appreciate if you guys could give me some tips on how and when to prune these plants. Also any fertilizing tips you might have.
  2. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    KO roses are by far much easier to care for than tea roses. KO roses take rejuvenation pruning very well. every two years we prune ours back to 6-12" total height.

    but like all roses they are very susceptible to diseases. clean your pruners often..
  3. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    I like as much height, and fullness out of my roses so I wait until spring to prune them. I just look at each cane and cut where it is appropriate.
  4. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    we try to keep ours pretty low...from a security standpoint, generally trees limbed up to 8 feet, and shrubs kept at 3-4 feet and lower... but keeping the KO lower keeps em nice and dense makes for a nice showing in grouped plantings...
  5. integrityman

    integrityman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,713

    Prune in the late winter or very early spring. I use hedge trimmers and they do just fine with a good cut back.
  6. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    use pruners, may take 5 minutes longer but its better for the plant...
  7. pdenney11

    pdenney11 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 380

    Thanks guys for all the good information.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,232

    Definitely pruners (to thin them out.) Also a wise old nurseryman once told me that with almost all roses there will be a certain amount of winter dieback whether you leave them for the winter or trim them in the Fall. So it makes sense to trim them when the winter cold is over. However, if some branches were very tall, you might want to trim them some now so there is less chance of broken branches from snow load and then finish trimming at the end of winter.
  9. Andover Landscape Co.

    Andover Landscape Co. LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Lexington,KY
    Messages: 573

    Knock Out roses are supposed to be the lowest maintenance, most disease resistant(besides the ginko), biggest bang (bloom from spring till frost) for the buck plant that money can buy..(35.00 3gal double).

    At the nursery I have seen 1500 Hybrid T's start to get "Powdery Mildew" and "Black spot" have 500 knock-outs 5 feet away and never get the first sign of PM or BS. And get half the Jap. beetles. The T's and knockouts are definitely not the same. Biggest thing to remember is to never water the leaves..If you keep dead heading, they will bloom big-time trough the first two frosts..

    The biggest negative I have had from customers is why it ended up growing so big when the tag said 4x4. Oh, and singles suck doubles are much better. (singles get less peddles of course, but also have a lighter color foliage which looks similar to stress related issues) I just don't like them.
  10. grassyfras

    grassyfras LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,475

    I have a customer that wants me to trim them this fall to about a foot high. Any special way to trim each cane?

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